I don't usually pay much attention to my birthdays, but this one is different.  I'm not surprised; it's been one hell of a year since my last one.  For my 23rd birthday, my mom helped me pay for a camera that I bought from the photographer at my old company (thanks AT).  In the past year, I've learned that photography and writing are two of my passions, while spending 4 hours a day commuting to my job was not.  I wasn't happy with what I was doing, so instead of just going through the motions and complaining, I made a change.  Here I am in Farmington, MO over one thousand miles from home, my family, and my girlfriend.  I have no idea what will happen between today and my 25th birthday, but I find that oddly comforting.  The predictable routine was what I was trying to escape, so I'm going to embrace the unknown.

I wanted a lazy day today, so I had one.  The hostel we are staying at has a handful of dvds, so we watched cast away, the campaign, goonies, and are currently in the middle of the departed.  I read off a few movie options to Chris and he chose the departed because, "(he) misses boston."  I assume be meant the accents and scenery as opposed to the extreme violence.  It's a solid choice (side note- the opening scene of Jack Nicholson's monologue is the greatest opening scene in any movie).  The highlight of the day was when Brian and Jeneen (the couple we met outside the brewery yesterday) swung by.  They brought us local cheese, sausage, and great conversations.  I may be speaking too soon as we haven't crossed the Ozarks yet, but the Midwest has been the best part of the trip.  The people are so down to earth and genuinely nice, the towns have been clean, there's less roadkill- everything about the Midwest has been great.  

Brian and Jeneen had mentioned a frozen custard place less than a mile away, so I think I'm going to break my no movement pact and bike over.  Thanks to everyone that has been with me on my ride for the past 24 years; I appreciate all the help I've gotten along the way.

EDIT: I was biking back holding the paper bag of frozen custard concretes for me and Chris. About a quarter mile away from the hostel, the bag broke and the plastic cups began to drip.  I decided that the best course of action would be to walk my bike and hold the spilling cups against me.  It's a good thing I actually wanted a medium when I ordered a large, because that's about how much was left.  Though I absorbed the majority of the spillage with my shirt, shorts, and sandals, it was worth it.   

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